San-Francisco based startup WibiData is gamifying its recruitment process by using a modified version of the puzzle game Portal 2 to help find new employees.
Any software engineers wanting to join WibiData’s 22 employee roster must first steer their way through five custom-made test chambers housed beneath a virtual reconstruction of the company’s offices, as reports the New York Times. Level designer and modder Doug Hoogland, a computer science major with aspirations of working for Portal publisher Valve, flew to San Francisco for the architectural plans of the space before going on to create the WibiPortal experience.
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Potential applicants are tasked with recovering a lost PIN for the WibiData website in the mod, but they must cope with a sinister, and potentially malfunctioning, A.I. while doing so.
The backstory for the mod maintains the same playful, Machiavellian spirit of the original Portal 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. “Unfortunately, I’m a little booked right now, what with the new recruiting website A.I. acting buggy and trying to kill the new applicants,” reads a fake e-mail on the WibiData’s website. “The automated PIN recovery system should be almost working; the fatality rate is down to 92 percent. If your day is booked putting our logo on a new T-shirt or something, ask the new hire for help.”
The A.I. in the game, which sounds a lot like GLaDOS (the A.I. from the original Portal and Portal 2 games), greets players by saying: “Hello, and welcome to the WibiData offices. Oh, you again. I thought you were dead. Continue testing now.”
Christophe Bisciglia, WibiData’s chief executive officer, got the idea for the project after seeing an in-game marriage proposal that Hoogland had previously created for a Portal 2 fan.
“It makes me feel like I exercise the same part of my brain that programming and problem-solving does,” Bisciglia said of Portal 2 in an interview with the Times. “I think a lot of people will think, ‘That’s really cool that they created a video game to recruit people. I want to work there.”
You can download the WibiPortal mod directly from WibiData website. The trailer for the mod is below: